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Civilians with Guns Intervening in Active Shooter Incidents -- the 2016 and 2017 Data

Data from the FBI's Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017 report; legal civilian gun carriers tried to intervene in 6 out of 50 incidents, and apparently succeeded in 3 or 4 of them.

[Photo credit: Oleg Volk.]

Backers of laws that let pretty much all law-abiding people carry concealed guns in public places often argue that these laws will sometimes enable people to stop mass shootings. Opponents sometimes ask: If that's so, what examples can one give of civilians armed with guns stopping such shootings? Sometimes, I hear people asking if even one such example can be found, or saying that they haven't heard of even one such example. This prompted me to post in late 2015 about 10 such incidents that I had found in roughly the preceding 20 years.

Thanks to a recent FBI report, we have more data on 2016-17. The FBI found 50 shootings throughout the U.S. that it labeled "active shooter incidents"—"one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area." Of those, four involved situations where the FBI believes that "citizens possessing valid firearms permits successfully stopped the shooter." (Four others involved "unarmed citizens [who] confronted or persuaded the shooter to end the shooting.")

On September 28, 2016, at 1:45 p.m., Jesse Dewitt Osborne, 14, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting at the Townville Elementary School playground in Townville, South Carolina. Prior to the shooting, the shooter, a former student, killed his father at their home. Two people were killed, including one student; three were wounded, one teacher and two students. A volunteer firefighter, who possessed a valid firearms permit, restrained the shooter until law enforcement officers arrived and apprehended him. [UPDATE: A commenter points out that the firefighter apparently restrained the shooter after the shooter's only gun had already jammed, though the firefighter apparently hadn't know when he went looking for the shooter; the FBI report did not note this.]

On September 24, 2017, at 11:15 a.m., Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, armed with two handguns, allegedly began shooting in the parking lot of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. After killing one person, the shooter entered the church and shot six people. A citizen who attempted to subdue the shooter was pistol-whipped. During the altercation, the shooter accidently shot himself. While the shooter was preoccupied, the citizen, who possessed a valid firearms permit, retrieved a handgun from his car and held the shooter at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived. One person was killed; seven were wounded. The shooter was apprehended by law enforcement.

On November 5, 2017, at 11:20 a.m., Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, armed with a rifle, exited his vehicle and began shooting outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He then entered the church and continued shooting at members of the congregation. The shooter exited the church and was confronted by a citizen who possessed a valid firearms permit. The citizen shot the shooter twice, causing the shooter to drop his rifle and flee the scene in his vehicle. The armed citizen, together with the owner of a pickup truck, pursued the shooter. The chase ended when the shooter's vehicle struck a road sign and overturned. Twenty-six people were killed; 20 were wounded. The shooter committed suicide with a handgun he had in his vehicle before police arrived.

On November 17, 2017, at 4:30 p.m., Robert Lorenzo Bailey, Jr., 28, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting in the parking lot of Schlenker Automotive in Rockledge, Florida. The manager of the auto repair shop and an employee, both possessing valid firearms permits, exchanged gunfire with the shooter. One person was killed; one was wounded. The shooter, shot twice during the exchange, was held at gunpoint by the manager until law enforcement arrived and took him into custody.

In one more incident, "a citizen possessing a valid firearms permit exchanged gunfire with the shooter,causing the shooter to flee to another scene and continue shooting."

On October 23, 2017, at 11:23 a.m., Alan Ashmore, 61, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, allegedly began firing into several homes and a vehicle in Clearlake Oaks, California, killing two people, including his father, and wounding one. Another person was wounded while fleeing out of a residence window. The shooter then shot and wounded a responding law enforcement officer before fleeing in his vehicle. The shooter drove to a nearby gas station and exchanged gunfire with the vendor, who possessed a valid firearms permit. The shooter fled the scene in his vehicle and drove to another gas station where he fired more shots. The shooter then drove to a nearby winery and shot at some employees before surrendering to law enforcement officers after a short vehicle pursuit. The entire incident lasted about 30 minutes. Two people were killed; three were wounded (including one law enforcement officer and one person who sustained injuries incidental to the incident). The shooter was apprehended by law enforcement.

And in one more incident, a man with a concealed carry permit tried to help, but was shot and wounded (and the police seem to have at first thought he might have been one of the bad guys, though fortunately they figured things out quickly enough):

On May 29, 2016, at 10:15 a.m., Dionisio Agustine Garza III, 25, armed with a rifle and a handgun, began shooting at Memorial Tire and Auto in Houston, Texas. One person was killed; six were wounded, including two law enforcement officers and an armed civilian who was wounded while attempting to stop the shooter. The shooter was killed in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers.

A few observations:

[1.] Unsurprisingly, sometimes the good guy with a gun succeeds and sometimes not. Sometimes (as in the Burnette Chapel Church incident) the success might be a lucky break; sometimes a lucky break for the defender might have ended the incident more quickly. And it's impossible to tell for sure how many lives, if any, were saved in the aggregate, because that's generally a counterfactual. Still, the aggregate pattern seems to be that armed civilian self-defense takes place in a significant fraction of active shooter incidents.

[2.] None of this proves that broad concealed carry rights on balance do more good than harm (or vice versa). It's simply a response to claims that I've heard that the good guy with a gun never helps; these incidents further show that there are potential pluses to broad concealed carry rights, and of course there are potential minuses as well.

[3.] Some shootings are in places where concealed carry is not allowed, such as on school premises or in jurisdictions where concealed carry licenses are often hard to get. It's hard to tell for sure how many of the shootings fit into this category, because laws vary from state to state, and rules vary from business to business (plus in some states carrying in a business that prohibits guns is itself a crime). But it's possible that there would have been more defensive uses of guns in some of these cases if people were legally allowed to have their guns there.

[4.] Finally, always keep in mind that active shooter situations should not be the main focus in the gun debate, whether for gun control or gun decontrol: They on average account for less than 1% of the U.S. homicide rate and are unusually hard to stop through gun control laws (since the killer is bent on committing a publicly visible murder and is thus unlikely to be much deterred by gun control law, or by the prospect of encountering an armed bystander). But people talk about them a lot, so I thought I'd offer a perspective on them for those who are interested.

Thanks to Clayton Cramer for the pointer.

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  • California Right To Carry||

    Regardless of whether or not someone is a "good guy," an openly carried weapon gives fair notice to the people around him that he is armed so that they may govern themselves accordingly. This is not possible when a weapon is concealed, regardless of the intentions of the person carrying a weapon concealed.

    Concealed carry, of course, is not a right under the Second Amendment, travelers while actually on a journey notwithstanding.

    And finally, concealed carry is of no use to me as I don't carry a purse or wear a dress.

  • Chem_Geek||

    > concealed carry is of no use to me as I don't
    > carry a purse or wear a dress.

    Yeah, right.

    https://youtu.be/c_GJlFEXOcw

  • California Right To Carry||

    And in rebuttal, Chem_Geek dude posts a video of a woman carrying a purse who lifts up her skirt to remove a handgun.

    Kind of proves my point.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Obviously you didn't watch the whole video all the way through. After the gun and the knife in the thigh holster under the skirt, she pulled two more guns and spare mags for each out of an elastic belt under her shirt. That would work for a guy just as well as it works for a woman.

  • California Right To Carry||

    MatthewSlyfield, tell the class when you began using drugs.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Twenty years after you did.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Twenty years after you did.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Twenty years after you did.

  • Linda C||

    Gun owners prevent more than two million crimes per year. Some are concealed carrying some open carrying, some availing themselves of their right at home

    "Concealed carry, of course, is not a right under the Second Amendment, travelers while actually on a journey notwithstanding."

    FOPA legal protection EXCLUDES concealed carry. Please don't comment on a subject or the law if you don't know it at all. gun reform includes fixing FOPA to increase legal protections for the law abiding, as well as provide for national reciprocity like driver's licences, but those are not the law today (despite a majority of the House and Senate, including both Republicans and Democrats supporting due to Democrat Senate Leadership filibuster threat.)

  • California Right To Carry||

    "Please don't comment on a subject or the law if you don't know it at all."

    Linda C - You should follow your own advice. Even the head conspirator of the Volokh Conspiracy acknowledges that there is no Second Amendment concealed carry right and he is a proponent of concealed carry AND an opponent of Open Carry.

    Here are a couple of videos. Professor Volokh's remarks can be found at the times indicated.

    "ROUNDTABLE - Areas of Constitutional Doctrine Transformed"
    This panel was held on November 19, 2016, during the 2016 National
    Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
    --Moderator: Hon. Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
    -- Second Amendment Panelist Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor
    of Law, UCLA School of Law
    https://youtu.be/MDlwbXLpOCI?t=32m34s 32:34 to 38:05 – Last visited May 21,
    2017.
    https://youtu.be/MDlwbXLpOCI?t=1h19m49s 1:19:49 to 1:22:35 – Last visited
    May 21, 2017.

  • wnoise||

    > an openly carried weapon gives fair notice to the people around him that he is armed so that they may govern themselves accordingly.

    I want people who would behave poorer if they knew no one around them was armed, not to know that no one around them is armed.

  • California Right To Carry||

    Of course you do.

    The Heller decision referred to that as secret advantage and unmanly assassination.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I can see both sides of the issue.

    Back in Michigan concealed carry became important because, although we were technically an open carry state, police in some jurisdictions would falsely report concealment if they saw you carrying holstered; They'd claim your shirt was hanging over the holster, or whatever. But if you carried too openly, they'd then accuse you of "brandishing".

    Concealed carry licenses became popular as a way to shut that abuse down.

    I tend to favor open carry, because I think it has an important psychological effect, for average people to see non-criminals who aren't police carrying. Helps remind them that it isn't only police and criminals who get to carry guns.

  • 0321ish||

    Open carry is a good way to paint a big "shoot me first" sign on yourself. Same as wearing those stupid 5.11 "tactical concealed carry" vests. I don't want people to know I'm armed and make myself the first immediate target. And concealed carry is a "secret advantage"? How is that not a win in a situation gone bad? And "unmanly assassination"? So some douche starts trying to shoot people/me not realizing I'm armed and I put him down, and my self defense is assassination?

  • California Right To Carry||

    0321ish, there was no need to anonymously tell the world that you are a coward. Everyone who knows you already knows that you wet the bed.

  • NToJ||

    A guy who is so scared of other humans that he carries a gun around to modify their behavior is a coward. An unmanly coward.

  • California Right To Carry||

    NToJ, says the coward who is too afraid to openly carry a firearm.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    -Yawn-

  • Linda C||

    Indeed the article is about the good number of active shooter prevented by law abiding gun owners. In fact they are much higher proportion than the article notes since a lot of the base sample is gun free zones. and we have a couple of gun ban nuts going off on each other!

  • James Pollock||

    "Indeed the article is about the good number of active shooter prevented by law abiding gun owners"

    In the sense that it's about something else entirely.

    There's no way to measure, statistically, a number of active shooters prevented. If it was prevented, it didn't happen. If it didn't happen, what are you counting?

    Here:
    Today, over 300 million Americans didn't become active shooters. The reason for this is obviously mandatory speed limits on Interstate freeways, so speed limits on freeways prevented 300 million active shooter incidents.

  • Naaman Brown||

    The "secret advantage" and "unmanly assassination" is verbiage quoted from 19th century laws banning concealed carry.

    I am certain that the Loving decision that overturned the 1924 Virginia Racial Integrity Act quoted verbiage from the eugenics and evolution arguments against race mixing that was the basis of that law.

    Does not mean the court decision endorsed it.

  • Careless||

    I know you've been told this many times before, but try to get it through your head: carrying is a right under the 2nd.

  • California Right To Carry||

    Careless, Open Carry is the 2nd Amendment right, not concealed carry. Even the head of this conspiracy (Eugene Volokh) knows that.

    But feel free to explain to us why we are wrong.

  • ||

    You and Volokh are wrong. Second Amendment says "bear". Not "openingly bear". Second Amendment covers concealed carry.

  • California Right To Carry||

    Patrick Henry, the 2nd, I thank you for once again proving why concealed carry should be a crime. If stupid people are gonna carry a gun then they should be required to carry it where everyone can see it.

  • Linda C||

    DC just lost the hard way trying to ban concealed carry.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Heller 2008 was a case about the D.C. ban on having an operable gun in one's home for self-defense.

    Heller held: "The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."

    The key is not "self-defense in the home" but "traditionally lawful purposes" including self-defense in the home.

  • Naaman Brown||

    In rulings on state constitution Article I (declaration of rights) Section 26 (right of the citizen to keep and bear arms), traditional lawful purposes include self-defense, military marksmanship practice, hunting, protecting livestock from predators, recreational shooting, collection of curios or keepsakes. There is an absolute right to have a gun in the home or place of business for self defense. Art 1 Sec 26 reserves to the legislature the power to regulate wearing of arms in public with a view to prevent crime as long as it does not unduly restrict traditional lawful purposes. Accepted regulations currently include a shall-issue carry permit for self-defense which is open or concealed carry (but tacitly concealed preferred).

  • James Pollock||

    "There is an absolute right to have a gun in the home or place of business for self defense."

    No, there isn't.
    Need proof that the right isn't absolute?
    Some people live in prisons, where there is a constant need for self-defense. What happens to people who live in prisons, found to possess firearms in their home?

  • apedad||

    ". . . an openly carried weapon gives fair notice to the people around him that he is armed so that they may govern themselves accordingly."

    You mean people can't govern themselves accordingly if someone else is not armed?

  • California Right To Carry||

    apedad, you must be new here.

  • apedad||

    Yup, I'm new here.

    Hey, what's the status of Teixeira v. County of Alameda?

  • California Right To Carry||

    apedad, cert denied and without a single dissent to the denial of cert -> http://blog.californiarighttoc.....ge_id=1793

  • Linda C||

    apedad=California right to carry.
    Bizarre one has to create a second account to validate themselves

  • NToJ||

    You could carry a sign that says "I am carrying a gun." Maybe include a picture of the gun?

  • California Right To Carry||

    You can, but I can't because I'm not a moron.

  • jdgalt1||

  • Eugene Volokh||

    Well, it apparently wasn't in the U.S., it apparently wasn't an active shooter under the FBI definition, and the comments seem to say (though I'm not sure how trustworthy they are) that the defender was an off-duty policewoman.

  • DonP||

    Let's wait and see. It's not uncommon for the media to declare someone "off duty police", if they served as a crossing guard 30 years ago. It's their way of delegitimizing them as a "mere" citizen with a gun. "See they have police training and experience", so somehow that doesn't count. As if the police have extensive, magical training that no other mere mortal can duplicate.

    Jeanne Assam is one example. She served as a Security Guard, so the media referred to her as "former police". By the tone of their articles, she didn't count as an armed citizen.

  • M.L.||

    That's a powerful video. A firearm is the ultimate gender equality tool.

  • Curly4||

    The question should be how many gun crimes is committed with a legal gun? I think that would show that in the areas that it is almost illegal to have a legal gun almost all of the gun crimes are committed by illegal. In many of the high gun crime areas when a person is arrested for a gun crime and the gun is illegal does that add to the term of the sentence or is the gun crime plea-bargained down to a lesser crime?

  • Linda C||

    Washington DC gun ownership
    1. GSS (telling a face to face interviewer their household ahs a gun): 0.3%
    2. DC MPD non law enforcement registrants (number of owners not number of guns): 0.7%
    3. John Hopkins study on gun ownership and suicide: 4%
    4. BMJ study on gun ownership and homicide: puts DC gun onerhsip at 25.9%
    5. total DC gun crime (assault, robbery, homicide) committed by lawful owners as of 2/2018: 0

  • Linda C||

    A. so the differences between #1 and #2 show that over half of lawful owners will tell a pollster/surveyor a firearm is in the home lining up with peer reviewed studies showing privacy related questions garner huge under counts and US gun ownership by household is likely 60%.

    B. Gun control advocacy "researchers" will use whatever gun ownership estimates fit their narrative. If a jurisdictions has a low suicide rate (as DC has) they will use lowest gun overall ownership rate (#1 or #3) estimate to prove their thesis, and if it has a high homicide rate they will switch to highest gun ownership rate (#4).

    C. Virtually all gun crime is with illegal firearms (the biggest single source being straw purchase, with that over represented by minority females buying for prohibited partner/relative). Take for example Baltimore. Studies by BPD in 2007 and 2014 show over 91-93% of homicide perps are criminals, and over 80% are committed persons with ten or more arrests or a serious felony meaning a person prohibited from possessing a firearm.

    But the issue is not how they got hte firearm really, it is why persons with ten or more arrests tend to be out on the streets when they are the cohort committing over 80% of US gun knife, beating, etc murder.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Zogby Analytics Feb 25, 2015
    QUESTION: "If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?"
    36% of the random sample of Americans felt it was none of the pollster's business and that includes
    35% of current gun owners
    47% of Republicans and
    42% of Independents

    Earlier, Gallup 1994 as a private poll got 51% of American households reporting having a gun. Chiltons 1994 as part of a government survey got 34% of American households reporting owning a gun.
    Gallup opined that the differences on people reporting they owned guns among various polls depended a lot on folks' perceptions of gun politics. I point out that the 1994 Chiltons poll was part of the federal National Survey on Private Ownership and use of Firearms (NSPOF) which was after the government defended killing people in the name of gun control at the Ruby Ridge Standoff (Aug 1992) and the Waco Raid and Siege (Feb-Apr 1993).

    The Democrat national party seems to believe that since "only" 34% of households report owning a gun, "down" from over half of all households "in the past", it is now safe to ride that "third rail" of American politics, gun control.

  • Naaman Brown||

    I'll repost this: BJS FUO
    US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Firearms Use by Offenders
    (Sample: nationwide sample of prison inmates who possessed a firearm during the offense for which they were imprisoned)

    2004 Source of firearms possessed by state prison inmates at time of offense

    11.3% Retail Purchase or trade
    7.3 - Retail store
    2.6 - Pawnshop
    0.6 - Flea market
    0.8 - Gun show

    37.4% Family or friend
    12.2 - Purchased or traded
    14.1 - Rented or borrowed
    11.1 - Other

    40.0% Street/illegal source
    7.5 - Theft or burglary
    25.2 - Drug dealer/off street
    7.4 - Fence/black market

    11.2% Other source

    The biggest single source of guns for criminals in the BJS FUO survey is 25.2% drug or street dealers. Straw purchase would apply directly only to retail purchase or trade or part of 11.3% but I suspect many of the "family or friend" sources were straw purchase too.

    The first Wright & Rossi "Armed and Considered Dangerous" prison inmate survey in the 1980s pointed t out that family or friend supplying guns to criminals are often criminals themselves, sometimes members of the same gang. American prisoners serving time for crimes involving use of a gun told Wright & Rossi they could get a gun from an illegal source within a week of release.

  • Eggprd||

    1. Did a good guy with a gun precipitate the incident or increase the deaths? Is there a downside?

    2. Regarding potential minuses, what are they?

    3. Is your point, "it would not hurt to broaden the places where CC licensees can carry"?

    4. Reading the report: 17 incidents happened at businesses, 7 at schools, 14 incidents in open space locations, and 2 at churches. That represents about 80% of the incidents. The balance are 3 government, 2 in homes, 4 in health-care facilities, and 1 on a bus. Concealed carry is always allowed in open spaces - 28% of the incidents. CC is sometimes allowed in businesses, 34% had incidents, maybe more of them should allow it. 14% of the incidents happened in schools, should we allow teachers to carry or increase the number of resource officers.

  • Rossami||

    re: "Concealed carry is always allowed in open spaces"

    No, it's not. Concealed carry laws are wildly different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some areas, concealed carry is forbidden everywhere. In most areas, it's allowed some places and forbidden others. Some of those others are open spaces but many (such as parks) are not.

  • MightyMouse||

    In the first case of Jesse Dewitt Osborne, the firefighter tacked the assailant to the ground, who had previously dropped his gun in the playground. A gun does not appear to have been actively used to apprehend the shooter.

  • MightyMouse||

  • MightyMouse||

    Well, yes, he did point the gun at the assailant to get him on the ground, but the assailant was unarmed at the time.

  • Linda C||

    mightymouse, you are why no one trusts the gun ban lobby and its intense disinformation campaigns.

    You repeat the falsehood that he civilian concealed carrier did not use his gun when the video CLEARLY SHOWS he did. You use the term firefighter as if firefighters have any additional rights to concealed carry than any other civilian has, when they do not. In fact Where civilians cant carry or cant have a licence, neither can firefighters.

    When caught in that falsehood you just divert and postulate additional nonsense about osborne having dropped the gun close by. In tact the assailant would have been free to return to his gun if not for the civilian with a civilian concealed carry gun using his concealed carry gun to control the assailant.

    That was an active shooting interdicted and stopped by a civilian gun carrier with his gun.

  • Jerry B.||

    I'd be interested in finding out how many people arrested for firearms-related crimes are prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing firearms. Is there any data on this? Seems like maybe law enforcement should concentrate their anti-gun-crime efforts on these people.

  • Purple Martin||

    Just, curious, in how many recorded incidents did a 'good guy without a gun' stop stop a 'bad guy with a gun?' (More than, or fewer than EV's four out of fifty incidents?)

    Thinking of the recent Waffle House incident, and one I recall (last year?) involving an unarmed college security guard in Seattle.

  • James Pollock||

    A while back in Oregon, a shooter at Thurston High School in Eugene was tackled by unarmed students. (The shooter was again in the news because his prison sentence for the muders was upheld on appeal).

    In another incident, a mall shooter fled after an armed civilian attempted to confront the shooter, but didn't have a clear shot. It is not known if the shooter was even aware he faced armed opposition.


    thus

  • Linda C||

    Guns are used to percent by civilians in the US from 500,000 to three million crimes a year.
    counting them is complicated.

    None of the estimates count crimes deterred. For example, in is articles focus on a small portion within active shooters (most multiple shootings are criminal on criminal and instead is public events) does not really go into the fact that the vast majority of notable ones occur in gun free zones because this is enabling for the shooter.

    As another example of undercounts by any counting method, in 2010 my sister was confronted in an underground parking garage by a man threatened her with a tire iron and attempting to get her into his van. She used her handgun to stop and prevent the attack and to detain him while she called 911. He had committed several prior nasty assaults with permanent injury. some counting methods would count the crime she prevented against herself -- but none would count future crimes prevented by her and her firearm as a result of him being imprisoned for 25 years.

  • James Pollock||

    "none would count future crimes prevented by her and her firearm as a result of him being imprisoned for 25 years."

    That's because she isn't preventing any of those (hypothetical) crimes... the prison system is. Hell, maybe if she hadn't detained him, he would've tried to cross the street mid-block and been run over by a bus. Maybe she made the whole thing up and he isn't even guilty of one assault.
    You can't count "maybe"s with any kind of statistical rigor.

  • Eugene Volokh||

    The FBI report says that, four other incidents involved "unarmed citizens [who] confronted or persuaded the shooter to end the shooting." I think I included that in the post above, though my apologies if I misunderstood your question.

  • Purple Martin||

    Thanks---my fault for just skimming the opening and skipping straight to the juicy stories.

    So, eight of fifty incidents stopped by intervention of non-law-enforcement 3rd parties---four armed and four unarmed. Sample too small to extrapolate to a universal population but again would be interesting to know the larger numbers.

  • Doug Huffman||

    The larger numbers are collected at John R. Lott Jr.'s Crime Prevention Research Center among many others.

  • Mesoman||

    The idea that mass shooters are not deterred by armed citizens is inconsistent with the evidence. In almost all cases, when mass shooters are confronted by armed resistance - either from civilians or from law enforcement - they commit suicide.

  • James Pollock||

    Uh, if they were mass shooters when they decided to commit suicide, then they were not deterred.

    Now, there may well be lots of cases of would-be mass shooters who were deterred from becoming mass shooters because of fear of encountering armed resistance... but your "example" doesn't address them.

  • James Pollock||

    There's also the fact that some mass shooters commit suicide even before they encounter armed resistance.
    There may even be cases of mass shooters who became mass shooters in hopes of provoking an armed response, (AKA "suicide by cop").

  • Linda C||

    James most US murder, over 90% is criminal on criminal. this is about outlier events. your contention that the fatality numbers in a large event would never be reduced by a citizen with a firearm makes no sense.

    These shooters tend to stop and run (most cases) or stop by commit suicide -- when confronted. not when they run out of ammo or victims.

  • James Pollock||

    "James most US murder, over 90% is criminal on criminal. this is about outlier events."

    No shit.
    Still sucks if you're the one with all the bullet holes, though.

    " your contention that the fatality numbers in a large event would never be reduced by a citizen with a firearm makes no sense."

    Which is probably why I made no such contention.
    Come back when you'd like to discuss my ACTUAL contention(s).

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Deterred from further action. Is that better?

  • Purple Martin||

    "Deterred..."

    "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

  • Linda C||

    Deterred fro further killing is exactly what happens

  • James Pollock||

    Well, no, it isn't. Some active shooters have taken the time to lay traps for first responders.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Always interesting different take. He looks into what he calls "rampage" shootings, not involving family, which had fewer then the FBI's 4 victims, on the premise that when you wait for cops, you get more victims than if a true first responder on the scene stops the shooter before there are 4 victims.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    He comes up with some interesting statistics.


    With 15 incidents stopped by police with a total of 217 dead that's an average of about 14.29. With 17 incidents stopped by civilians and 45 dead that's an average of 2.33.

    Second, within the civilian category 11 of the 17 shootings were stopped by unarmed civilians. What's amazing about that is that whether armed or not, when a civilian plays hero it seems to save a lot of lives. The courthouse shooting in Tyler, Texas was the only incident where the heroic civilian was killed. In that incident the hero was armed with a handgun and the villain was armed with a rifle and body armor. If you compare the average of people killed in shootings stopped by armed civilians and unarmed civilians you get 1.8 and 2.6 but that's not nearly as significant as the difference between a proactive civilian, and a cowering civilian who waits for police.
  • Linda C||

    Considering only about 1% are carrying due to draconian laws, if you control for that and hte ratio of armed vs unarmed civilians; armed are much much more effective

  • markm23||

    More than that, mass shooters can and often do choose a "gunfree zone" for their rampage, so there will be considerably less than 1% carrying. One thing interesting about this article is that it counted a number of little-publicized incidents with low death tolls - and I think about half of them were where non-police could legally carry concealed.

    Of the mass shootings that made national headlines, I recall only three that were not in a gunfree zone. In two of these (the U of Texas clock tower shooter in the 1960's and the recent one in Las Vegas), the shooter used rifles from a sniper post - an elevated location that was out of handgun range, and provided protection or concealment even if civilians and police fetched rifles from their cars - and the death toll was high. The third one was the attack on Gabby Giffords, which also killed six people out of the crowd around her; concealed carry was legal, but since it was a campaign rally for an anti-gun Democratic, the chances of anyone actually carrying would be low, and no one at the rally one was. (There was an armed citizen just around the corner, who ran _towards_ the sound of gunfire, but by the time he got there the killer had emptied his pistol, fumbled the reload, and was tackled by unarmed bystanders. There are still _men_ in Arizona. )

  • KevinP||

    Another good list is here:

    CPRC: List of Mass Killings Stopped by Armed Citizens

    Here's an example:

    Concealed Carrier Prevents Mass Shooting At SC Nightclub


    Quote:
    A man with a concealed carry license stopped a shooter after the latter opened fire on a crowd of people at a nightclub in South Carolina early Sunday morning.

    After getting into a fight with another person, the 32-year-old suspect pulled out a gun and began to fire at a crowd of people gathered outside of the club, hitting and injuring four. One of the victims, who holds a concealed-carry permit, shot back in self-defense, hitting the suspect in the leg.
  • Doug Huffman||

    Thanks @KevinP, I would have duplicated your citation.

    I am Blessed to live in Wisconsin where I can carry openly, traditionally lightly regulated, or concealed to not offend the snowflakes. Contrary to post-modern jurisprudence, a bar on concealment is an infringement.

    Good people ought to be armed as they will, with wits and guns and The Truth. God Bless Eugene Volokh and John R. Lott, Jr. God Bless US Bitter Clingers.

  • apedad||

    Why do you need God if you have your wits and guns?

    Is God your Plan B?

  • Linda C||

    Apedad, over on the posted site when i asked if you had a fire extinguisher given the low odds of using one, you never answered

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Contrary to post-modern jurisprudence, a bar on concealment is an infringement."

    I don't think you can make a strong case for that.

    Bans on carrying concealed weapons (not just guns) go back pretty far in US history and have gone unchallenged until recent decades.

    Concealed carry in the United States


    Concealed weapons bans were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. (In those days open carry of weapons for self-defense was considered acceptable; concealed carry was denounced as the practice of criminals.) By 1859, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and Ohio had followed suit.[5] By the end of the nineteenth century, similar laws were passed in places such as Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma, which protected some gun rights in their state constitutions.[6]
  • Linda C||

    @matthwew those bans on concealment were paired with allowance of open carry. And the ones hyou cite were local, short term and only in certain places. Louisiana law yo mention was in place for a year before being repealed. The Indiana Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama laws were revoked within a couple of years as well.
    At the turn of the century in fact only about 3% of the US was under any concealed carry ban.

    your wikipedia cite goes to a Winkler cite. he is one of the most inaccurate and you will look silly using him. he is actually citing laws laws that were mostly quickly repealed or invalidated.

  • markm23||

    What has changed in recent decades is that open carry has become an unenforceable right. You may be carrying that gun legally, but in most cities the cops will initiate violence for carrying it - they will come at you with guns drawn, force you to the ground, and detain you for some time. E.g., Wisconsin once did not allow concealed carry at all, but the state constitution clearly protected open carry - and yet, _after_ a court and the Wisconsin AG affirmed that right, the police chief of Milwaukee announce that his cops would "prone out" anyone open carrying. This was a blatant violation of constitutional rights, but neither the Wisconsin AG nor Ashcroft's DOJ did anything about it. The Wisconsin legislature's remedy was to finally pass a law allowing concealed carry licenses.

    I'll believe we truly have a right to open carry when a police chief who announces such a policy is promptly fired by the city council lest the city be bankrupted by lawsuits, and then indicted and tried for conspiracy to violate civil rights. Until then, concealed carry is the only way you can freely exercise your right to bear arms in most cities.

  • Doug Huffman||

    In re gun carry in South Carolina; permitted concealed carry is the only legal regular carry in South Carolina, thanks to the Law Abiding Citizens Self Defense Act of 1996 that legalized concealed carry.

    There will be no legal open carry in South Carolina until the hegemony of the National Rifle Association is broken. The NRA enables the sale of privileges for permittees.

  • ||

    And SC won't give non-resident permits (for the most part) or accept non-resident permits, so unless you live in a state that SC grants reciprocity to, you can't carry. SC sucks.

  • OtisAH||

    9/28/16 "Two people were killed, including one student; three were wounded, one teacher and two students."
    9/24/17 "After killing one person, the shooter entered the church and shot six people."
    11/5/17 "Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, armed with a rifle, exited his vehicle and began shooting outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He then entered the church and continued shooting at members of the congregation."
    11/17/17 "One person was killed; one was wounded."

    Success being relative, of course.

  • Linda C||

    No doubt the victim counts were profoundly reduced, that is what matters.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I don't know that I'd heard that there are no examples of guns stopping active shooters, just that it's not something to hang your society on.

    But I'm not too surprised that some on the left argue that extreme - for both sides this has become a war of anecdotes and ipse dixit. And folks here do seem to be enjoying the new ammo; perhaps more as a tonic for the troops than an actual effective argument, but I've learned not to ask for too much about guns these days.

  • M.L.||

    There is no "effective argument" that would persuade the core anti-gun folks, because these views are not based on reason or facts to begin with. Argument is useless.

    What they respond to is ridicule and social ostracism, or on the flip side, a vacuous affirmation of morality and virtue through subscription to a social in-group of political views. This applies to the spectrum of "SJW" issues generally.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Sure, but the thing is I could just as easily say the same about the pro-guns folks. Same reasoning based on confirming anecdotes and outrage, same refusal to engage the other side.

    What they respond to is ridicule and social ostracism
    No, they don't - that's just you rationalizing being a dick.

  • M.L.||

    Sure, I agree it applies to the bulk of people on either side, but in the right situation some people will be open to reason and facts and I have seen firsthand this and other arguments be effective in individual cases. That's a different approach.

  • Sarcastr0||

    So your side is rarely but sometimes open to reason and facts, and the other side is rarely but sometimes open to ridicule and social ostracism.

    Still not making me very optimistic.

    [Clearly some people are open-minded, else poll numbers would not change at all. Else politicians wouldn't ostentatiously pass bump-stock laws. Heck, I got convinced it's an individual right on this blog back in the day.
    But I'm not optimistic that change will come from anyone who talks about 'gun grabbers' or says those who disagree respond only to meanness].

  • James Pollock||

    "in the right situation some people will be open to reason and facts"

    There is a broad middle ground, consisting of people who think weapons should be freely available to people who handle them safely and responsibly, but that restrictions should be applied to people who do not.
    Not everybody in this category is in complete agreement... there are substantial disagreements of what constitutes "safe and responsible", and on what restrictions are appropriate for "not safe or not responsible".

    The people doing the talking aren't open to negotiation. This is because the extremists have pushed the centrists out of the discussion.

  • Linda C||

    Indeed all the long term polling shows decline in support for substantive gun ocntorl, be it in 40, 30, 20, 10 5 year trends.
    You get these slight bumps up with wall to wall coverage of some event, but it is clear more people are being sensible about how absurd gun bans are.

    As far as negotiating cutting Fourth fifth, Second, or Sixth Amendment rights, extremists will always want to do that

  • NToJ||

    "...a vacuous affirmation of morality and virtue through subscription to a social in-group of political views."

    Yea right? Check out this SJW what a tool.

  • M.L.||

    Touche.

  • mad_kalak||

    The comments on that article are pure cancer, and it was written delightfully by the journalist to elicit mockery.

  • Linda C||

    Are you surprised? The gun ban nuts including some here routine state "we just want background checks" on some threads, and then push complete bans on others. it is that systematic dishonesty that makes people concerned with the bill of rights wary about letting people shred it.

  • James Pollock||

    That's no worse than people who start shrieking about gun-gabbers at the first sign of legal reform. Hey, maybe we should impose legal penalties on people who provide weapons to known criminals... EEEK a gun-grabber!!! Maybe a conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence should be treated like a felony conviction for gun possession purposes... EEEK! Maybe the granting of a protective order should include a show cause hearing requiring sequestration of firearms... EEEK!
    When you react to any and all suggestions (not even real proposals) as if the black helicopters are dispensing shock troops over your compound, you win points for the people who already agree with you, but reduce the likelihood that somebody who doesn't will take you seriously.

  • Squire Al||

    " It's simply a response to claims that I've heard that the good guy with a gun never helps; "

    I don't think I have ever heard anyone say that "the good guy with the gun never helps' and if they did, it would be spectacularly foolish. I am sure there are also a much larger number of cases where people with guns defended themselves from attacks, some successfully and some not. But handful of incidents that were identified, given the many thousands of incidents where people ended up shot, is less even than a mere scintilla of proof.

    Only your last point makes sense. Mass shooters are not deterred by the possibility of encountering return fire. They are likewise not deterred by the possibility of a death penalty after many years. For the most part, they start the action expecting to end up dead in any event. A society with far less guns would mean far less gun deaths, for good or bad guys or just people in the wrong place at the wrong time. No, not zero, but far less than the mayhem we deal with now.

  • the original jack||

    I have engaged almost daily for 20 years with the anti-gun folk over the 'net and I hear at least once or twice a day from many different poster, "the good guy with the gun never helps". Virtually all of these posters are non-gun owners but in their mind they speak with authoritative statements.

  • James Pollock||

    "I have engaged almost daily for 20 years with the anti-gun folk over the 'net and I hear at least once or twice a day from many different poster, 'the good guy with the gun never helps'"

    And, as OP suggested, this is extremely foolish.
    But "the good guy with a gun doesn't help as often as the firearms enthusiasts believe/suggest" is probably accurate.
    Movies and television feature the "good guy with a gun". But they are not an accurate representation of reality.
    Given a choice between being under fire unarmed, and being under fire while armed, I know which way I'd prefer. But I also have a realistic understanding of the likelihood that I'll be an effective counter to a shooter who has achieved tactical suprise.

  • the original jack||

    A firearm is not akin to a Harry Potter magical wand -- able to ward off all and any harm to its owner. And "tactical surprise", while important, is not the be all and end all of an engagement. Surprise can work both ways.

  • James Pollock||

    Your comment appears under mine, but doesn't seem actually responsive to what I wrote.

  • Linda C||

    james why are you talking about movies? they virtually never show good guys with guns, even though crimes prevented by civilians with guns are an order of magnitude more than persons harmed with guns in crime.

    why are gun ban nuts always getting their views from movies?

    go with the DATA. US gun murder rate has fallen massively, down nearly 65%, down the most in the student age cohort -- as guns have increased and especially as concealed carry has increased about 10x.

  • James Pollock||

    "why are you talking about movies? they virtually never show good guys with guns"

    Sorry, I was stuck here in reality, instead of wherever it is you are.

  • aluchko||

    Are you sure you're not confusing brevity with rationalization?

    When I say "it's never a good idea to buy the extended warranty" I'm not speaking literally, there are in fact scenarios where the extended warranty is a wise investment. But in the vast majority of cases it's a bad deal.

    Similarly, if I were to say "the good guy with the gun never helps" what I'd really mean is "no matter the gun laws it's very unlikely that a good guy with a gun is going to effectively intercede in an active shooter incident, and loosening the gun laws to make armed good guys more common will inevitably cost more lives than it saves".

    This is a little unwieldy to read or type, so I understand if people sometimes summarize as "the good guy with the gun never helps".

  • Linda C||

    Gun owners prevent 500,000 to three million crimes a year.

    Police arrive in time to prevent 2% of crime.

  • the original jack||

    "A society with far less guns would mean far less gun deaths"

    Reminds me of my favorite Bible verse in Genesis where Abel asked his brother, Cain, "Crikey, mate, where'd you get that Glock?"

  • Absaroka||

    "Mass shooters are not deterred by the possibility of encountering return fire. ... For the most part, they start the action expecting to end up dead in any event."

    The second sentence doesn't imply the first.

    Even mass shooters who intend to kill themselves afterwards want to succeed, which for them means killing a lot of people. Many of them have obsessed on their 'score', hoping to surpass previous numbers. It's relatively rare, for example, for them to attack police stations[1], because you don't get a lot of notoriety for a police 1/shooter 0 box score. Getting stopped before running up a score is going to be somewhat of a deterrent for any who aren't just trying a simple suicide by cop.

    [1]There have been a couple of attacks on police stations, but I think the motivation there is some kind of antipathy towards cops, not the hope of running up a big body count.

  • phattyboombatty||

    "But handful of incidents that were identified, given the many thousands of incidents where people ended up shot, is less even than a mere scintilla of proof."

    Proof of what? I'm not sure what point you are making here. Are you saying that there are thousands of incidents where a concealed carry holder ended up getting shot, so the handful of incidents where a concealed carry holder was able to successfully intervene in a shooting is far outweighed by the incidents where a concealed carry holder gets themselves shot?

    I'm not aware of the thousands of incidents you are referring to, but assuming your facts are correct, your conclusion is only valid if in those incidents the concealed carry holder would not have been shot but for the fact that the person was carrying a firearm. In other words, if a guy walking down the sidewalk was legally carrying a concealed handgun, and an assailant snuck up behind him and shot him in the back of the head before he ever knew what hit him, that would be a situation where the concealed handgun did nothing to protect him, but it also made zero difference to the fact that he got shot.

  • Linda C||

    "But handful of incidents that were identified, given the many thousands of incidents where people ended up shot, is less even than a mere scintilla of proof."

    By thousands shot you are into general crime.

    In fact there are between 500,000 (lowest estimate) to three million crimes prevented by gun-owners each year.

  • Linda C||

    "A society with far less guns would mean far less gun deaths"

    The estimated number of guns in the US rose more than 50% since 1993. The rate of US gun murder PLUNGED by almost 65% .

    when you compare same region similar demographic states in the US, those with more guns and less gun ocntorl have less murder, rape and mehem, not more. Virginia has 3x the number of guns per capita that maryland has, 27X the number of civilian concealed carriers, and way less murder than same region very close average income, age, edcuaion Maryland.

  • James Pollock||

    "The rate of US gun murder PLUNGED by almost 65% ."

    The rates of all violent crime has been declining for decades.

  • phattyboombatty||

    "are unusually hard to stop through gun control laws (since the killer is bent on committing a publicly visible murder and is thus unlikely to be much deterred by ... the prospect of encountering an armed bystander)"

    I somewhat disagree with this final point made in the post. There's a reason these particular types of killers never try to go on a rampage in a police station. They find the softest possible target with the lowest probability of encountering an armed bystander. Their goal is to cause as many deaths as possible, which requires time and a lack of resistance to the shooter.

    The pro-gun crowd often points to the fact that these mass shootings all happen in "gun free zones," and they're not wrong about that. A school, church, mall, daycare, etc. are all soft targets where the shooter knows that the occupants are extremely unlikely to be armed.

    Notably, not all "gun free zones" are soft targets. You never see these types of killers attempting a mass shooting at an airport or in a court house. Why? Because there's a large enough police/armed guard presence that the shooter knows they would be met very quickly with armed resistance.

  • James Pollock||

    "I somewhat disagree with this final point made in the post. There's a reason these particular types of killers never try to go on a rampage in a police station. They find the softest possible target with the lowest probability of encountering an armed bystander."

    There are as many reasons to go on a shooting rampage as there are nutcases who go on shooting rampages. Some have pursued soft targets, and some have targeted specific targets because the shooter was mad at someone or something found there. There HAVE been assaults on army bases and police stations, by people intent on injuring or killing soldiers or police. A lot of the shooters turn out to be disaffected youth, so they attack targets "oppressive" to disaffected youth... schools. But some that are old enough to be done with school have other targets... employers, prior employers, places that employ their girlfriends and ex-girlfriends, family, or lots of others of targets that are perceived to have done the poor shooter wrong.

  • Linda C||

    "There have been assaults on army bases..."

    Uhm the Army bases attacked have all been gun free zones. The shooters virtually always attack soft gun free zone target

  • James Pollock||

    "the Army bases attacked have all been gun free zones. "

    Gee, no wonder it's taking so damn long to win the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We forgot to give them any guns?

  • markm23||

    The army generally won't trust it's soldiers with guns unless they are going off-base on a mission, or posted on guard. (Except when someone might be about to kill you, army life is pretty boring, and they might _play_ with the guns.) And generally the army doesn't post many guards in state-side facilities. Thus, when an officer who happened to be Muslim and also happened to be a complete nut decided to go shooting infidels, his army base in Texas was a perfect disarmed-victims zone. Likewise, the Navy only issues firearms to sailors for a particular combat mission, so another killer-nutcase could hunt disarmed victims in the Navy Yard.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    If the point you are trying to support is that concealed carry should be widespread, because it will make everyone safer, then the kind of data EV presents is irrelevant. You need to focus on concealed carriers generally, not cherry pick from small samples a few isolated successes. If you want to know what concealed carrying can contribute, if it can contribute, then all the carriers taken together have to be a major focus, not just the successes. How many concealed carriers have been present at active shooter scenes, and elected not to engage, or fled?

    For instance, consider the Las Vegas shooting. I suggest it's plausible to suppose that within the general vicinity of the hotel and the killing ground, there were at least dozens of concealed carriers. Did even one of them attempt to engage the shooter? How many would even have been able to discover where the shots were coming from? News reports make stuff like that seem obvious. How many folks at the scene thought it was obvious?

    Then, what happens to law enforcement if multiple concealed carriers decide to pull out their guns to go after bad guys. At Las Vegas, that would probably have translated into hundreds of reports to police, pointing to armed men, and possible shooters, everywhere. Probably there were a lot of concealed carriers at Las Vegas who elected to do nothing. And maybe that was a good thing.

    Without mandatory uniform reporting of gun crimes, arguments over gun issues will remain mostly unfounded.

  • Absaroka||

    Well, we do know that armed citizens intervened in about 8% of active shooter incidents over the last two years (using the FBI's definition).

    If people with CPR training assist in 8% or cardiac arrests, that's interesting, regardless of how many people with the training don't assist. If I'm one of the 8% who were saved, CPR training looks pretty spiffy to me.

    "Then, what happens ... if multiple concealed carriers decide"

    Well, we have 50 incidents, 8% of which were stopped by a civilian with a permit, and in 0% of which your hypothetical occurred.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    It's not as if it doesn't occur. The Navy Yard shooting in 2013 provides an example in which police said their response was hampered by reports of a man with a gun, who, after becoming an investigative focus during the response, turned out not to be the shooter, but a would-be good guy.

    More generally, my concern is what happens if pro-gun advocates get what they seem to want, and achieve very high levels of concealed carry, and motivate large numbers of would-be intervenors. Then, maybe the present situation won't be the model you suppose it to be, and the cautionary Navy Yard example could loom larger.

    Also, your CPR example is poorly chosen. CPR training, in and of itself, is innocuous. Even failed attempts to administer CPR are unlikely to rank as a public threat. Failed gun-carrier interventions at active shooter scenes will not be innocuous.

    If failed attempts, and non-attempts, become much more common than successful interventions, then a policy to promote armed interventions by civilians could prove a net loser for public safety. Forthright pro-gun advocacy would not ignore that possibility, and instead present only a few picked examples of success to tout the policy.

  • Absaroka||

    "If failed attempts ... become much more common ... could prove"

    On one hand we have more of your "could be ... if ... maybe ...", and on the other we have the observed results.

    "The Navy Yard shooting in 2013..."

    Just in the interest of accuracy, here's a copy of the MPD After Action Report, which on pp 43-45 describes getting multiple conflicting reports. You are probably remembering: "The first description for the white male person of interest arose when investigators viewed security camera recording that looked as though it captured a white male in a khaki uniform, carrying what looked like a handgun ... After investigators viewed additional video footage from other cameras that provided full context and eventually speaking with the person of interest, the look-out was canceled by police."

    The Navy Yard is inside D.C., which makes it unlikely some random civilian had a CCW permit. If he had been carrying illegally, in violation of his employer's rules and local and federal law, I'm thinking the outcome would have involved more than a chat. I'm guessing that 'what looked like a handgun' turned out to not be one.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I am remembering what a law enforcement official reported to a journalist during the incident. Not some after-action, straighten-out-the-details report.

    It's humorous to get corrected for speculation by someone who concludes with "I'm guessing . . ."

  • Absaroka||

    If I understand your argument, you are saying that the cost of police misidentifying people as armed during an incident exceeds the benefit of armed people stopping the incident in its tracks.

    We have an estimate here of the magnitude of the benefit: in this two year period 8% of attacks were stopped.

    And we can assess the magnitude of your cost: by going back 5 years we can find one incident where the police thought they saw someone with a gun. And that wasn't a civilian with a gun - it was either:
    a)someone who didn't have a gun after all or
    b)someone authorized by the feds/DC to be armed on Federal facilities in DC.

    Banning civilian carry doesn't stop either of those mistakes from happening, but it does throw away the 8% of stops. If you don't like deaths due to gun violence, letting that 8% of killers continue to kill unmolested seems like an odd thing to favor.

  • James Pollock||

    "If I understand your argument, you are saying that the cost of police misidentifying people as armed during an incident exceeds the benefit of armed people stopping the incident in its tracks."

    It might be more accurate to say that the cost MAY exceed, as there will be significant variation from incident to incident because of different circumstances.

    Consider:
    In an entirely different context... much of America has moved to a professional fire-fighting force, replacing volunteers. This is due to a variety of factors. You can argue that we'd be better off if, even in those places served by professional firefighters, volunteer companies still existed. This can be true... for example, if the professionals are all engaged, and additional fires break out, or if the magnitude of a fire exceeds the professional capacity (Think San Francisco 1906). But having two firefighter solutions in place might also be worse... if citizens call volunteers first, who get in over their heads due to inadequate training and experience, and the pros have to show up and pull out the volunteers before they can get to work, or because of coordination problems between the volunteers and the pros working on the same fires.

  • Linda C||

    "The Navy Yard shooting in 2013 provides an example in which police said their response was hampered by reports of a man with a gun, who, after becoming an investigative focus during the response, turned out not to be the shooter, but a would-be good guy."

    Wow, you just pile on falsheoods. That was the BASE SECURITY not a "would be good guy."

    Navy Yard was 100% gun free zone. No guns allowed for employees except perimeter security that took a long time to get to where the shooter was when an armed civilian could have likely stopped the killer.

    And Navy Yard shooter was using a "biden recommended" shotgun and had a background check

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Linda C, there is no falsehood in reporting what people actually did conclude during the interval when the incident was unfolding. And it is that interval, taken generally, which concealed carry advocates touting public safety from private action, need to focus their realistic attention on.

    Expectations that private gun wielders will put a quick end to active shooting incidents in large venues involving many people—and do so without complicating the job of police intervention—are fantasies. They can come only from folks who pay little attention to what news reports and the literature of combat already teach—and who also have little or no experience with shooting except under the controlled conditions at gun ranges, or maybe from watching gun-themed entertainment at the movies and on TV.

    I'm guessing real-world shooting, in which a need to shoot arises momentarily and unexpectedly, is something with which you have little personal experience. Correct me if I am wrong.

  • Absaroka||

    "Expectations that private gun wielders will put a quick end to active shooting incidents in large venues involving many people—and do so without complicating the job of police intervention—are fantasies."

    A fantasy that happens, according to the FBI, 8% of the time.

  • James Pollock||

    Except, no. You're conflating two different definitions of "success".

    Consider:
    Suppose we respond to reports of active shooters in schools by calling in airstrikes of carpet bombs. If we use the definition of success as "the shooter didn't get away", this approach will have a high rate of success. But there exist some OTHER definitions of success that would leave this proposed solution as, well, not very.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "For instance, consider the Las Vegas shooting. I suggest it's plausible to suppose that within the general vicinity of the hotel and the killing ground, there were at least dozens of concealed carriers."

    From the killing grounds, it would take another rifle to engage the shooter. That, situationally, rules out engagement by any concealed carriers at the killing ground.

    There is a much older sniper incident that took place an an American university you should look up, I don't remember all the details off the top of my head, but a sniper started shooting people from a clock tower on the university campus. Several armed civilians returned fire, forcing the sniper to keep his head down, minimizing additional casualties, until police back up arrived in sufficient numbers that they were able to storm the clock tower and take down the sniper.

  • Naaman Brown||

    University of Texas tower shooting 1 Aug 1966. "Officers and several civilians provided suppressive fire from the ground with small weapons and hunting rifles, forcing Whitman to stay low and fire through storm drains at the foot of the observation deck's wall."
    The killer claimed most of his victims before return fire forced him to stay low.

  • Linda C||

    "The killer claimed most of his victims before return fire forced him to stay low."

    yes he would have killed two or three times as many if not for civilians returning fire.. he sure had ammo.

  • James Pollock||

    But wait... his tactical surprise lasted X amount of time... the time needed for people to realize what was happening, where it was coming from, and for the armed bystanders to begin returning fire. How does that X amount of time compare to Y amount of time... the time needed for people to realize what was happening, where it was coming from, and to seek appropriate cover or distance? I suggest that if X and Y are roughly equal, then he got about as many victims as he could have.

  • Linda C||

    Since the likely situations where concealed carriers were present was under 1%, we can all agree that expanding concealed carry will greatly increase the number of active shooter events that are interdicted. Criminals don't care about gun laws so it will not increase incidents, but it will increase incidents prevented.

  • James Pollock||

    "we can all agree that expanding concealed carry will greatly increase the number of active shooter events that are interdicted. "

    No, that doesn't follow.
    Just having more weapons in the hands of more people doesn't stop anything.
    Consider that the range of potential civilian carriers ranges from people who are extremely qualified and skilled, down to people who have absolutely no clue what they are doing. Adding more weapons to the mix doesn't help if the people who are holding them don't know how to use them, or worse yet use them in ways that increase the chaos.
    It takes skill and experience to handle a weapon well under fire. Handing out more weapons doesn't magically make the people holding them effective at stopping madmen or criminals.

    The main challenge of active shooter incidents are that the shooter achieves total or near-total tactical surprise. They do most of the damage they do while they have the advantage of that surprise.

  • MaverickNH||

    Of course, government grant of a concealed carry permit, or recognition that such a permit is not required by some states (aka Constitutional Carry) is not tied to a requirement to use a carried firearm to defend others. Even if the practical arguement is made that more concealed carry reduces crime, that arguement bears no moral expectation that a CCW-eligible person use their firearm to defend others, or even themselves. "Manly" or not, the best self defense is to not be where trouble tends to start or to bail out when it does. Exceptions may exist but do not make the rule.

  • Linda C||

    Indeed gun owners prevent 500,000 to three million crimes per year.
    Police arrive in time to prevent 2% of crime and most crime occurs where you live or work so you have no option of not being where it starts.

    Anecdotes and ill defined "notable" active shooter events (a statistically trivial portion of violent crime and murder) are not the issue. The millions and millions of murders, rapes, aggravated assets, robberies prevented by gun owners do.

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